UMC, Greenwatch train journalists on climate change

 KAMPALA -The Uganda Media Council [UMC] has partnered with Greenwatch Uganda, an environmental rights advocacy organisation, to train journalists from across Uganda on how best they can report on climate change.

The training comes in the wake of the impact of climate change that is being experienced in the country, especially in Karamoja where dry spells have led to food insecurity, leading to deaths.

The training mainly focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation, the impact of climate change, and climate journalism among others.

Samantha Atukunda, the Executive Director of Greenwatch Uganda said most parts of the country are experiencing the impact of climate change with awareness among community members still low.

Atukunda said the country has seen a surge in forest destruction and other climate and environment endangering activities including tree cutting, and encroachment on wetlands and forests, even when the campaign on climate change has been going on.

“The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacities, and efficiency while covering climate change. We [ Greenwatch ] want to see active participation in the media,” Atukunda said while making opening remarks of the training from the Mestil Hotel in Kampala.

Peter Okello, from the Uganda Media Council, says the partnership seeks to improve and boost coverage on climate change and the environment appreciating its impact on society.

Okello said further trainings would be organised to intensify covering of issues such as prevention, mitigation, and adaptation in regards to climate change and the environment.

Moses Watasa, Commissioner for Communication and information Dissemination in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology [ICT] and National Guidance urged the media to be critical while covering climate change-related issues saying that many of the journalists don’t know what is happening in the country.

“Many times, the media focuses on politics leaving serious issues that affect society, including climate change and environment among others,” Watasa said.

Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance said to intensify reporting on climate and environment, government is contemplating introducing environment media awards.

“Such trainings are very important and needed because we need more skills and capacity to help journalists report better. We should begin thinking of introducing Environment Media awards so that we intensify coverage on climate change and environment,” Baryomunsi said.

Uganda is currently experiencing impacts of climate change including prolonged droughts, famine among others.


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